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Company Roster - November 1967


Summary - November 1967

C Company remained at An Khe during the first week of November performing security duties for the Camp Radcliffe base camp. On the 7th the company returned to the Bong Son area with the rest of the battalion ready to begin a new round of searches for the enemy in the mountains and valleys west of the coastal flatlands.

Following up on a LRRP team ambush on the 8th of November, C Company made light contact near 506 Valley, an area the company would spend much of the rest of the month in and around. The 506 and the Suoi Ca Valleys served as infiltration routes from the West toward the rich coastal plains, and the mountains enclosing the valleys were also rich hunting grounds concealing many Communist rest, training and base areas. There had been a noticeable increase in VC and NVA sightings here and the 2/5 Cav was tasked to halt the enemy movements.

Nature became the opponent on November 9th when Typhoon Freda made landfall at Tuy Hoa and headed toward the Bong Son operational area. C Company established an FOB on a hilltop and was told to dig in deep and, by the way, "...there probably wouldn't be any helicopter support for three to four days." The company spent several quiet and wet days on the hill and then resumed normal patrol operations.

Pulled in from the field, C Company provided firebase security for several days before moving to the Bong Son Bridge on Highway 1 about November 18th to guard that site. Bridge duty was always welcome and the four companies of the 2/5 Cav rotated responsibility for its protection, usually spending a week at a time at that location.

After a week at Bong Son,  the company returned to the mountains and the valleys to the west. The new Battalion Commander, LTC Joseph Love, had instituted a policy called the "mini-cav" in which a platoon from one of the field companies was kept airborne in Hueys while looking for targets of opportunity. If any suspicious activity or group of people was spotted the platoon made an immediate assault to the location. This tactic proved very successful in catching VC who were trying to move in small groups during the daylight hours.

November passed with C Company working in the mountains and searching the small villages at the foot of the hills. The month ended badly with a friendly-fire incident on the 29th. While the company was working uphill toward suspected NVA positions, LT Arlington, Platoon Leader of the First Platoon, called for support from an ARA ship which then mistakenly fired rockets into the platoon. There were several wounded and the platoon medic, SP5 Larry E. Shepherd, was killed.  (2001 Kenneth D. Burington)


 November 23,  Thanksgiving Day

Top Far Right :  The Thanksgiving message sent out by LTC Love, Commanding Officer of the 2/5 Cav.

 

Bottom: The Thanksgiving dinner dinner menu.  The meal was served on the south end of the railroad bridge near the village of Bong Son in northern Binh Dinh Province.

 

Comanche_Thanksgiving_1967_from_Phillips.gif (11033 bytes)
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Courtesy Jay Phillips

Click on Images to See Larger Version

Courtesy Don Jensen

Comanche_Thanksgiving_Menu_1967_from_Jensen_01.jpg (62756 bytes)

Comanche_Thanksgiving_Menu_1967_from_Jensen_02.jpg (25209 bytes)

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November 29

1st Platoon suffered heavy casualties from a friendly fire incident involving two Cobra gun ships.  The location was at coordinates BR 848743, Map 6837-3.  This is on a northeastern buttress of a mountain near the southern end of 506 Valley.  Most C 2/5 Cav troopers merely called it "The Mountain."

This from an email from Larry Wood, who was an RTO with Company Headquarters at the time:

 I remember we were on patrol coming off the side of a mountain when we had jumped at least one NVA soldier and he hauled it and left his back pack behind.  I believe the point man fired some rounds but we did not get him.  The forward platoon went on down the well-used trail we were on, but was told to hold up and take a break while we checked out the back pack for intelligence.  Two Cobras were called in to prep the area ahead of us, but when they flew over they saw the forward platoon setting off the side of the trail, they thought it was an ambush and opened up.  Doc Shepherd was killed.  When everyone who was hurt was taken out, there was only 1 or 2 left in that platoon.  Some returned the next day and some later.   I don't know how many never returned to the company.

The casualties were: (Source: Daily Staff Journal Assistant Chief of Staff G-1, 1st Air Cav Div dtd 29 Nov 67, researched by Ken Burington)

  1. SP5 Larry Shepherd, a medic with 1st Platoon, was killed by shrapnel to the right side of his chest.

  2. SFC E7 Amador Martinez Jr. - shrapnel to the head, taken to 67th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  3. SSG William Edmands - shrapnel to the right hand, returned to duty

  4. SGT Rondon (Rene) Castillo - shrapnel right arm, taken to 85th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  5. SGT Norman Ford - shrapnel both legs, taken to 67th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  6. SGT Tex Nichols - shrapnel left thigh, returned to duty

  7. SP4 Thomas Blancett - shrapnel right leg, taken to 15th Medical Battalion, An Khe

  8. SP4 Billy Cleveland - shrapnel right arm, taken to 85th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  9. SP4 Gilbert Davilla - shrapnel left thigh, taken to 67th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  10. SP4 Daniel Dixon - shrapnel right cheek, taken to 85th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  11. SP4 Lundie Fulmer - shrapnel left shoulder and right hand, taken to 67th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  12. SP4 Edward Jimenez - shrapnel left hip, taken to 67th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  13. SP4 Thomas Wall - shrapnel right abdomen, taken to 85th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  14. SP4 Gregory Walstead - shrapnel right leg, taken to 67th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  15. SP4 Wayne Williamson - shrapnel head, taken to 67th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

  16. PFC Kenneth Hopkins - shrapnel to the back, return to duty

  17. PFC Randolph Rainey - shrapnel to the back, taken to 67th Evacuation Hospital, Qhi Nhon

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November - Exact Date Unknown

CPT Dean Learish commanded C 2/5 from October through December.  The battalion commander considered him to be "tall" and used that description as the first part of the new call sign "Tall Comanche." (More on the origin of the call sign Tall Comanche)

Comanche CPT Dean Learish 1967 from Demchak.jpg (85065 bytes)
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Courtesy Donald Demchak

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November - Exact Date Unknown

Some views of the Bong Son bridge.

The top aerial view shows both bridges.  The uppermost railroad span was the important bridge as it was intact, while the smaller bridge below had a span blown out.  There was a pontoon bridge to replace that blown span.  Notice the small specks on the river banks at the lower left.  These were Army trucks being washed.

The middle photo shows the railroad bridge as a backdrop to some trooper's poncho hootch.

The bottom shows a hooch at the southern end of the bridge.

Comanche_Bong_Son_Bridge_02.jpg (26786 bytes)

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Comanche_Bong_Son_Bridge_01.jpg (34722 bytes)
Click on photos to see larger version

Courtesy Don Jensen

Comanche_Hooch_at_Bong_Song_Bridge_Nov_1967_from_Demchak.jpg (112648 bytes)
Courtesy Don Demchak

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November - Exact Date Unknown

Roger Shirkey was the 2nd Platoon medic in late 1967.  He's shown here next to one of the bunkers at the Bong Son bridge.

Comanche_Shirkey_1967_from_Burington.jpg (36747 bytes)
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Courtesy Ken Burington

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November - Exact Date Unknown

SSG Imre Furedi was both the Platoon Sergeant and the Acting Platoon Leader for 3rd Platoon.  (Where'd you get the CAR-15, Imre?) From his email message to the Webmaster: 

This picture was taken in late 1967 in Bong Son while on "Bridge Guard", you still can see (however faintly) the water marks on the bottom of the picture.

Comanche_Imre_Furedi_1967.jpg (26167 bytes)
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Courtesy Imre Furedi


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Updated November 19, 2009